International - Written by Barry & Richard on Monday, June 13, 2011 12:39 - 3 Comments
Debarment: regulations published.
After all the debate about the interaction of the Bribery Act 2010 and the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 and the increased risk of suppliers being excluded from public contracts, the amendment proposed to the 2006 Regulations is rather brief.
The Order states that from 1 July conviction of a section 1 (offering a bribe) or section 6 (bribing a foreign official) offence will be a ground for mandatory exclusion of a supplier (new Regulation 23(1)(ca)).
It seems too like it’s a case of ‘one strike and you’re out’ as the Order is silent on any limitation period or self-cleansing mechanism. No mention is made in the Order about the section 7 corporate offence (of failing to prevent a bribe). We understand that no change was considered necessary.
A public body can already decide whether or not to exclude a supplier which has been convicted of a criminal offence relating to the conduct of a business or profession or which has committed an act of professional grave misconduct in the course of a business or profession (respectively Regulation 23(4)(d) and (e)).
These discretionary grounds would seem broad enough to capture the section 7 corporate offence. One would hope that this point is confirmed in guidance in due course.